Science wins again: near-death experiences explained

If there's one constant about supernatural 'explanations', it's that they're gap-fillers. Arguments from ignorance. If a scientific explanation neither apparent nor forthcoming, it's assumed the failure lies in the limitations of scientific inquiry. They not really explanations, but fillers in lieu of real explanations. Nowhere has that been more apparent than with near-death experiences. There's a website called Skeptiko (not to be confused with the skeptical blog Skeptico) that regularly argues in favor of the supposed supernatural side of near-death experiences (along with a litany of other woo). I've talked about near-death experiences before, but I basically concluded that the evidence of any mind/body dualism was weak and inconclusive.

Well, now I get to take it step further, because according to Scientific American, we now have good, rational, evidence-based explanations for near-death experiences:
Near-death experiences are often thought of as mystical phenomena, but research is now revealing scientific explanations for virtually all of their common features.
The article goes on to explain that all of the common phenomena of near-death experiences are actually experienced in other conditions, and can be linked to specific biological cognitive functions.
Altogether, scientific evidence suggests that all features of the near-death experience have some basis in normal brain function gone awry. Moreover, the very knowledge of the lore regarding near-death episodes might play a crucial role in experiencing them—a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Meanwhile, I can't help but offer an extra facepalm for the people who enthusiastically bought the book "Heaven is Real".


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